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When can you be happy?

“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” – Jane Marczewski

A reader sent me this clip from America’s Got Talent back in 2021, not necessarily for the performance, but for the words of Jane Marczewski, who died from cancer in 2022 at the age of 32.

The reader kindly acknowledged that so much of what I say and do is embodied in Marczewski’s quote. But quite honestly, she said it better than I ever could. More importantly, any struggle that I’ve had in my life cannot come close to comparing to her struggle.

Marczewski’s song is beautiful, and her performance was masterful, but it’s her words that I will remember best.

She’s right.

So often in life, happiness is a choice. We can choose to focus on the struggle or focus on the blessings. It’s not always easy, and depending on the circumstances. it’s sometimes admittedly impossible. But for many of us, a shift in mindset and perspective can result in real, long-term happiness.

Somehow, despite her struggle, Jane Marczewski found a way to focus on the blessings of life. As a result, she seemed like a much happier person than many people who deal with a tiny fraction of her struggle.

When it comes to happiness, it often has less to do with the specifics of a person’s life and more about their mindset. We either focus on the positive or obsess over the negative.

Jane Marczewski seemed to have understood this better than most.

Pretty extraordinary.

Rest in peace, Jane.